Sunday, October 11, 2009
Yoga and Osteoporosis
Once I was diagnosed with osteoporosis (May, 1999), I developed an almost borderline obsession with my posture. Even now as I write this, I consciously just brought my shoulders back and sat up straighter. It was the "dowager's hump" that had me in a state. But a recent article published by Reuters News Service indicates that yoga may decrease this age-related curve of the upper spine. A small study was conducted by Dr. Gail Greendale (UCLA) where a group of elderly study participants did yoga for 6 months and the results were compared to a group who did no yoga. The yoga group saw their upper spine curve lowered by about 5 percent. The yoga group met 3 days a week for 6 months. During their yoga classes, they used breathing techniques and did poses to increase flexibility and strength in their back muscles. Granted, this was a very small study with only about 120 participants in all. However, it is just one example of the benefits of a regular yoga practice...and another reason to spread the word to our senior population.